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This month, the Gramovox team is joining in celebrating the generations of African Americans who have made significant contributions to the cultural landscape of the United States.

This year marks the centennial anniversary of the first Negro History Week, inaugurated in February of 1925 by historian Carter G. Woodson, founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. After the Civil Rights Movement expanded awareness of the importance of African American history, Woodson’s weeklong celebration was expanded to a month in 1976 under President Gerald Ford, who encouraged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

To commemorate 100 years of Woodson’s vision, the ASALH has selected “A Century of Black Life, History, and Culture” as this year’s theme. Here at Gramovox, we’ve chosen to acknowledge this milestone by dedicating the third volume of The Sound to notable African American musicians who have become major American cultural icons. Join us in honoring their enduring legacy and timeless art.